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Treasure Hunter Roadshow pays off for some Lodians

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Posted: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 6:04 am, Thu Dec 16, 2010.

With a russet Kamaka ukulele tucked away in a box with Little Orphan Annie decoder rings, Lodian Ruby Hennenberg patiently waited her turn to be given a price for the goods by workers of Treasure Hunters Roadshow on Tuesday morning.

Like dozens of others in the lobby of the Hampton Inn and Suites on Beckman Road, Hennenberg was there to see if items in her home were rare valuables. People carrying painted ceramics, rare dolls and jewelry crowded into the waiting room of the hotel because the Treasure Hunters Antique Roadshow is in town until Friday and offering checks on the spot in exchange for collectors’ items. The Illinois-based company hosts events across the country where workers look to purchase items from people in the community who are eager to clean out their garage and make some money in the process. While not everyone walks away from the events with more money and less clutter, many of those who attended the event Tuesday said they were pleased with the results.

“They offered me $150 for an old $100 bill and I refused,” said Joann Schmidt. “I also turned down their offer for an Indian nickel from 1936. Next year it will be worth more.”

Despite being offered $1,500 for an antique necklace, Hilda Vezeau didn’t part with the jewelry.

“Its sentimental value is higher,” Vezeau said.

The Treasure Hunters Roadshow features experts who offer prices on goods that sellers can either accept or decline. The company does not offer appraisals, which require special licenses and certifications from experts. For any price the experts quote, 10 percent is taken off the total to pay for the company’s hotel booking fees and other costs.

As potential sellers continued to pack into the waiting room, the waiting time to see an expert swelled to more than two hours. The appraisal process itself can take a matter of minutes, but the surge of people can lead to long wait times, said show manager Kerry Vaassen.

Although she waited for more than an hour and didn’t sell the decoder rings, Hennenberg walked out of the hotel with $300 for the ukulele and knew what she would spend it on.

“All the money will go to Maranatha Volunteers to build churches,” she said. “I’m pleased with the transaction.”

Contact reporter Jordan Guinn at jordang@lodinews.com.

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